UK – FSA and FSS share findings from the evaluation of the recall system

Food Safety News

An updated food recall system in the United Kingdom has improved the situation but there are still areas to develop and things to consider for the future, according to an evaluation.

In 2016 and 2017, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Food Standards Scotland (FSS) held a review to improve the way food is recalled. This resulted in changes to the withdrawals and recalls system, including new guidance, a revised point-of-sale notice template for shops, and additional training for food businesses.

RSM UK Consulting was commissioned by FSA and FSS in 2021 to evaluate the development of the new system. This included a desk review, interviews with those who worked on the updated system, case studies of real recalls, looking at hypothetical scenarios, and consumer focus groups.

Those who worked on the new traceability, withdrawals, and recalls guidance said it was an improvement on the old document. However, one concern was that smaller businesses have fewer resources to implement the new processes and understand the legalities behind them. Lack of resources was also discussed as a barrier by local authorities.

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